We stayed at the Hyatt on Times Square. It’s the newest Hyatt, and it boasts the tallest rooftop bar in New York along with some awesome views of the city. We did get to enjoy this awesome rooftop a couple of evenings, but there’s so many other things to see and do in New York that we didn’t have time to linger, and that leads us to the subject of this page: “Getting around New York”. To be able to see a lot of New York in just a few days, you need to know how to get from point “A” to point “B” in the shortest amount of time.
Your options are to take a taxi, which is too slow and costly, take a bus, which is also slow, or take the subway, which is easy, fast, and cheaper once you figure it out. It took us a couple of days, but once we caught on to the “Uptown, Downtown and East, West” we covered some ground. We went from Central Park to Coney Island to Brooklyn to Little Italy to Greenwich Village and back to Broadway in time for a play. We even took a pizza tour to find out who has the best pizza but that’s another story… (Dana’s page) Here are some tips:
GET A SUBWAY MAP: OK, that seems obvious, but it’s the very first thing you will want to do. You can ask the subway attendant for a free map to go. Download NYC Subway APP if you have a smart phone. I would try to learn the subway system before I ever arrive in the city.
GREEN & RED BALLS: You will notice the “Green Ball” or “Red Ball” as you enter the subway. The green ball means that the line is open 24 hours and the red ball means that it’s only open through rush hour.
NUMBERS & LETTERS: Always go by the numbers or letters and NOT by colors. Some New Yorkers may use colors but the lines can split and take you far from where you want to go.
BLACK & WHITE DOTS: When you look at the map you will see black dots and white dots. The white dots are express trains that only stop at those stations. If that’s where you want to go, then they will be faster. The black dots are local trains that make all of the stops. If your stop is not on the white dot then make sure you take the correct line.
If you see a black dot with the number 1 and a white dot on the same line with the numbers 1, 2, 3 then the #1 is a local train and the #2 & 3 will be express trains.
Don’t hop an express train by accident and if you have questions just ask someone.
By the way, I think New Yorkers get a bad wrap for not being nice because we didn’t meet the first rude person. On the contrary, they went out of their way to help us even when we didn’t ask and just looked like we could use some guidance. I would use caution and common sense when accepting help from strangers, but everyone that we met was helpful and kind.
UPTOWN & DOWNTOWN: It’s important to know whether you want to go uptown towards the Bronx or downtown towards Brooklyn. Your stop will more than likely be along the way somewhere in between. Some street entrances have trains traveling in only one direction either uptown or downtown and you will have to cross the street to find the correct entrance.
Find out where you’re staying which for us was Manhattan, Times Square and every New Yorker knows how to reach Times Square, but you would be surprised by how many can’t help you find your way, especially if it’s far from their neighborhood. If you’re in midtown the RED 1, 2, 3 lines run along 7th Avenue, the BLUE A, C, E trains run along 8th Ave. and the ORANGE B, D, M, F trains run along 6th Ave.
PEDESTRIAN TUNNELS: A good thing to know is the pedestrian tunnels which will save you a lot of time and in bad weather, they will keep you dry. Not all of the stations have them but some do and rather than exit the station and walk to another station to re-enter you can use the tunnel. Just ask someone if you need help.
SMART PHONE APPS: Download a good App with GPS like Google Maps. Ulmon New York is great and also works offline. You can drop pins and mark where you are and where you want to go. It also offers suggestions on what to see and do, as well as gives information on the area and sites. I use it all of the time.
Also, another great App is the NYP guide. It’s for the New York Pass but it has great features to help you plan your trip and if you plan on visiting for at least three days then you should check out the NEW YORK PASS. It’s a great deal if you have a little time.
STREETS & AVENUES: Remember that streets run east and west and avenues run north and south.
I hope this helps you have fun getting around New York. Good Luck and Enjoy!!